Brazil vs. Netherlands: Latest Quotes Ahead of 2014 World Cup 3rd-Place Game

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Brazil vs. Netherlands: Latest Quotes Ahead of 2014 World Cup 3rd-Place Game
Leo Correa/Associated Press

Playing in the third-place match of the 2014 World Cup was always going to be a bit of a disappointment for both regardless of who made it this far.

But the Netherlands and Brazil will both be very upset to be taking the pitch on Saturday instead of a day later at the Maracana.

The Dutch came agonizingly close to beating Argentina and qualifying for the final, while the Selecao suffered the most embarrassing defeat in their history at the hands of Germany. A win against the Netherlands would restore some dignity, but it would do little more than that.

A loss is unacceptable, however, with the home crowd already in mourning following the 7-1 thrashing their team took from Die Mannschaft.

Andre Penner/Associated Press

Louis van Gaal and his young team can look back on a very strong campaign, with most pundits believing this team wasn't strong enough to advance this far at the start of the tournament. A win against the Brazilians would be the icing on the cake, and with the Selecao still in shock from their heavy loss, it isn't out of the question.

Felipe Scolari's position as Brazilian manager is under fire, and as reported by ITV, he wants his team to end the 2014 World Cup with a win:

I know my career will be marked by this defeat, but we have an obligation to move on and think about the next goal, which in this case is the match for third place on Saturday in Brasilia.

I know it's a much smaller dream that we all wanted, but we have to honour the shirt of the national team. We made the semi-finals, the top four teams in the world. And there were a lot of good teams that were knocked out before us.

Scolari will meet with officials from the Brazilian Football Federation to discuss his future after the match, according to ITV, and another loss would make his position as the manager of the national team even more difficult.

For all of the success Scolari has had with the squad, a 7-1 defeat on home soil is difficult to look past. Even with a win on Saturday, Scolari's days could be numbered.

If the matchup with the Dutch team truly is his last game in charge, the legendary manager will want to go out with a bang.

Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Captain Thiago Silva will return to the starting XI as his suspension is over, and he believes Brazil will play the Dutch as if they were playing in the final, via the Brazilian federation's website (h/t to beIN Sports):

It's almost impossible to explain what happened. The team was not the Brazil squad that usually presents itself. The pain from this defeat is too big. It is in this bad time that we need the strength of the fans even more. I guarantee that we will play Saturday's game like it was the final of the World Cup.

How the crowd will rally behind their team is a big question heading into the match. The grief and disappointment among the football-crazy Brazilians was enormous, and no one would be shocked if the home crowd gave the team a very cold welcome on Saturday.

But the Brazilians also love their players, and with the team visibly hurting and asking for their help, now would be the time for the fans to rise to the challenge and prove their love of football goes beyond anything.

Van Gaal surprised a lot of people during his pre-match press conference, when he told reporters he didn't want to play a third-place match in the first place, via FansAllStar Football:

There seemed to be a lot of support for his message on social media, with people agreeing the match was pointless and understanding the team's desire just to board a plane and go home.

The situation is obviously different for Brazil, who have to atone for their loss against Germany. But the Dutch have little left to prove—they had a great campaign, it came to an end in the semi-finals and whether they finish third or fourth is hardly relevant.

That doesn't mean the Dutch team won't play to win on Saturday, via Bleacher Report's Elko Born:

Van Gaal will be coaching his final match for Oranje before heading to the Premier League to take over the reigns as manager of Manchester United.

The 2014 World Cup may have been his finest performance yet, taking a young and relatively inexperienced team rocked by injuries all the way to the semi-finals.

Andre Penner/Associated Press

Beating Brazil and ending the 2014 World Cup without a single loss in regulation time would be a fitting end to that campaign, and a fantastic achievement for both Van Gaal and the squad.

The Brazilians will perhaps be more motivated to make amends for their semi-final loss, but the chance to end the tournament unbeaten will give the Dutch team plenty of reason to put their best foot forward as well.

Disappointment or not, Saturday's third-place match should be a good one, with two teams who have every reason to play wide-open football and please the fans one last time.

 

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